Traditional Stairways Off the Shelf
About manufactured stair parts, and how they are made.
Synopsis: This is an excellent introduction to the many manufactured components that go into traditional stair rails. Not a step-by-step guide for installation, but a sort of expanded glossary of the components, how they are made and where they are used. The author includes a list of suppliers.
On the banks of the Fox River in Oshkosh, Wis., stands an old stone building with a Victorian staircase just inside the front door. It’s a heavy stair, done in dark oak, with a balustrade of spindles ascending on the left, complemented by a raised-panel wainscot on the right. The box newel that anchors the balustrade is also made of raised panels and is topped off by a square cap with a graceful curving cross section. The newel cap isn’t nailed to the post; if you lift up on it, it comes off easily. Underneath you’ll find a small scrap of sandpaper…